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Weaving the strands
Weaving the strands

In 2013 Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei split into three entities: Whai Rawa, the commercial arm; Whai Maia, the community arm; and the Ngati Whatua Orakei Trust (the Trust), the overarching custodian of the people’s interests today and for generations to come.

Telling a unified story, but separate ones for each audience group, was the challenge we took on. Read how we did it:

The brief

In 2014, they challenged us to tell a unified story across three annual reports that captured the hapu’s overall essence, the three entities’ inter-weaving activities, all the while, expressing a story relevant to each entity and its unique audiences.

Strategy and design thinking

Our approach was to use a common messaging and design platform across all three and to capture the uniqueness of each entity through colour, graphics, photography and tone of voice. The overall design concept was future focused, built on the platform of development, growth and prosperity. In Maori, the concept of future is grounded in the notion of drawing from the past, allowing us to create a sense of reflection - looking back in order to move forward.

The design toolbox we created included colour, language, graphics, icons, layout and photography. Combining these assets in unique ways allowed us to tailor a distinct but unified story for each entity.

The Trust’s annual report speaks to heritage, traditions and the people of Auckland. This is expressed in the annual report through a powerful inter-generational presence, with a strong link back to the marae expressed through images and stories. The tone is more spiritual, focusing more on identity and less on the activities and numbers that traditionally dominate annual reporting.

Whai Maia oversees the community and social well-being activities being undertaken every day to improve the lives of its people. Their report expresses this down to earth community element and showcases the tangible difference being made to people today and in the future. The design has a ‘home-made’ community feel, balancing real activities with schematics of future community projects.

Whai Rawa is the commercial arm, managing the hapu’s land and property interests. Their annual report needed to be more professional and present a story of well managed investments. Its approach is slicker and more business focused including many elements normally found in corporate annual reports.

The result 

One great story about Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, presented through three different lenses, has been met with fantastic feedback from all the target audiences. The client tells us their business and communication objectives have been well and truly exceeded.

See also: Ngati Whatua Orakei 2015 Annual Report portfolio